STRENGTHS: Fluid athlete…balanced center of gravity with under-control transition skills…quick trigger once he sinks, flashing twitch in his hips and ankles…innate ball skills, tracking and timing his attack…crowds catch points better than most his size…skilled eyes and spatial instincts to diagnose routes…recovers quickly to close on throws…four-year starter at punt returner, averaging 8.7 yards per return (127/1,108/4)…averaged 20.8 yards on kickoff returns (23/478/0)…scored six career touchdowns in three different ways (four punt returns, one fumble return, one interception return)…one career blocked field goal…led the team in passes defended his junior and senior seasons.
WEAKNESSES: Slender frame with slight features, including below 30-inch arms…lack of functional strength is a red flag…bigger receivers will gain body position on him…inconsistent run defender and will make business decisions…doesn’t drive through his target as a tackler, preferring to clutch and wrestle…lacks the upper body strength to jam or disturb route paths…can be taken out of plays by perimeter blocks…quicker than fast and will struggle to close the gap vertically…lack of body bulk leads to durability questions – missed three games as a junior due to a right ankle injury (Nov. 2016).
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Virginia Tech, Stroman started at left cornerback as a senior for the Hokies while also performing on special teams coverages. Since he enrolled in Blacksburg, five Virginia Tech defensive backs have been drafted and he will be the sixth (or seventh if Terrell Edmunds is drafted ahead of him). Stroman is a nimble athlete with the short-area reflexes and route anticipation to drive and challenge the catch point. He is thinly built with shockingly low tackle numbers in college, which matches his marginal play strength on tape. Overall, Stroman will leave production on the field as a run defender, but he demonstrates a feel for routes with the athletic twitch to pattern match with NFL receivers.
Possesses the square frame so conducive to winning the battle of leverage at the point of attack with broad shoulders and a massive lower body, including fire hydrants for legs. Comes off the snap low and hard, bulldozing through would-be blockers on simple bull rushes to affect the quarterback. At his best stuffing the run, planting his legs into the turf and anchoring there, creating a logjam that ball-carriers have to avoid. Attacks blockers with a forceful initial punch, showing the ability to slide off of blocks and collapse onto ball-carriers, exhibiting the phone booth quickness to make plays inside the tackle box. -- Rob Rang 1/29/2018
A bit of a one-trick pony as a run-stuffer, offering little in terms of a pass rush other than a simple bull rush. Does not possess the long speed to be much of a factor outside of the tackle box, quickly being left in the dust by ball-carriers and even relatively slow-footed quarterbacks. Minimal awareness of passing lanes, recording just tipped pass in three seasons (34 games) and too rarely getting his hands up at all to affect quarterbacks. - Rob Rang 1/29/2018
Beau Allen, Eagles - Like Norton, the 6-3, 327 pound Allen does not generate as much attention as his more athletic teammates along Philadelphia's defensive line but he plays an important role as an imposing block-eater. Norton may not have to wait quite as long as Allen (who was selected in the seventh round at No. 224 overall in 2014) to hear his name called but recent history is not kind to similar players with his skill-set, coming off disappointing campaigns.
IN OUR VIEW
Teams looking for a traditional run-stuffer on Day Three will be sure to check out Norton, whose possesses the ballast and balance to hold up at the point of attack. Just don't expect much in terms of a pass rush...
SUMMARY: A no-star recruit out of high school, Keion Crossen was a quarterback/safety at Northampton County, posting 1,752 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a senior. At only 150 pounds, he wasn’t a top recruit, signing with FCS-level Western Carolina as a defensive back. Crossen, who finished runner-up in the 400-meters at states in high school, also ran track at WCU. He started 21 games over his final two seasons, collecting 15 passes defended and one interception. Crossen has elite speed and smooth movements in reverse, showing that he is more than just a straight-line athlete. He displays the coverage sense to understand passing concepts, but he needs to improve his timing/judgement to make plays on the ball. In run support, he is a steady tackler who seeks out contact. Overall, Crossen is undersized with underwhelming ball production, but he has blur speed/athleticism with the football character that NFL coaches will recognize.
STRENGTHS: Solid burst off the snap…adequate bend to work his shoulder past the outside shoulder of the tackle…trusts his technique, using handwork to fight off blockers…flashes a closing burst once he finds a path to the quarterback…backfield vision to track the football, seeing through bodies…reads his keys quickly, allowing him to play fast…rushes with relentless energy and doesn’t take plays off…registered six blocked kicks (five field goals, one extra point) the last three seasons, including a FBS-best three blocked kicks in 2017…well-strapped together build…graduated with a degree in sport management (May 2017), currently working on his master’s…adopted a professional mindset early on and lives a mature lifestyle (married with a daughter)…led the team in sacks each of his the last three seasons.
WEAKNESSES: Looks the part of a NFL defensive end, except for his tiny arms…minimal deception in his rush plan with noticeable tightness in his hips…lackluster contact balance through blocks, struggling to convert speed to power…pass rush stalls when his first move is ineffective, lacking effective counter measures…pad level was a consistent issue, standing up once engaged…will sell out as a pass rusher at times, losing outside contain…limited lateral agility and forced to gear down when redirecting in space…doesn’t close the gap when chasing vs. the run.
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at SMU, Lawler started primarily as the field defensive end in the Mustangs’ four-man front, occasionally lining up inside or on the boundary as the “Leo” defensive end. He became only the third player in school history to reach 20 sacks in a career, setting the single-game record with four sacks vs. UConn (Sept. 2017). Lawler isn’t a speed rusher who will scream off the edge, but he plays with the initial quickness and juice to break down tackles, relying on his mechanics and effort to get the job done. He is a smart run defender, finishing first or second on the team in tackles each of the last three seasons. Overall, Lawler is a classic overachiever who lacks NFL length or edge speed, but he plays alert, relentless and fundamentally-sound, which could be enough for a NFL roster spot.
Possesses good height for the position, along with broad shoulders and long arms with his weight evenly distributed. Good initial snap to step quickness, showing a powerful initial punch and good strength in his hands to latch onto and control opponents. Possesses the core strength and leg drive to generate movement at the point of attack, creating a surge with the torque and enough flexibility to turn defenders away from the ball-carrier. Despite only moving to center full-time in 2017, Clapp shows good awareness of his assignment downfield, showing enough functional athleticism to reach the second level. Calm in pass protection, sliding well laterally and utilizing his long arms to keep opponents at bay. Very competitive and flashes the nastiness to get OL coaches excited, looking to knock defenders to the ground and bury them. Possesses the length to slide back outside to guard in the NFL. Three year starter who showed toughness in playing through various injuries, missing just one game over his career (Southern Miss-2016). -- Rob Rang 1/14/2018
Possesses a relatively long, lean frame for a center with relatively narrow hips, lacking an ideal base. Has a frame more like a traditional offensive tackle but does not possess the foot speed to handle playing outside against NFL edge rushers. Top-heavy frame too often leaves Clapp off balance and getting knocked to the turf at the point of attack. This issue is also evident off the ball, where Clapp shows average change of direction, struggling to hit moving targets at the second level and is forced to lunge at defenders, resulting in some impressive blocks but some whiffs, as well. Inconsistent knee bend, losing allowing his pad level to rise and occasionally losing the leverage battle as a result. Missed most of the 2017 offseason after undergoing shoulder surgery, which will require a check by team doctors at the Combine. - Rob Rang 1/14/2018
COMPARES TO: Graham Glasgow, Lions - Like Clapp, the 6-6, 310 pound Glasgow has more of a linear build than most interior linemen, which might have contributed to his playing center and both guard positions while at Michigan. Neither player is particularly nimble but each offers the sheer size, physical nature and positional versatility to earn Day 2 consideration with Glasgow - the 95th overall pick two years ago - coming off his second season as a starter in Detroit.
IN OUR VIEW:Clapp is the opposite of Forrest Gump's box of chocolates - scouts know exactly what they'll get with him. He isn't the most athletic interior lineman in this class but possess the length, strength, experience in a pro-style offense and success against top competition to project as an early contributor in a power-based scheme.